Recover Hydration To Feel Your Best
Feel Better Faster And Recover Connective Tissue Health
Authors: Detrick Snyder & Barbra Depta
Why is Hydration Important?
The link between effective hydration, connective tissue health, and your everyday performance and recovery is undeniable. Losing just 3% of your weight in water, equivalent to 2 quarts of water for an average male, results in measurable losses in power, strength, and skill.
But it’s not just your ability to execute that suffers: hydration is essential for recovery, too. Inadequate hydration one day - in the form of sweating more than you drink, or simply not drinking enough or getting enough electrolytes - sets your next day up for failure, physically as well as cognitively.
Without having enough water and electrolytes, waste products become trapped in your fascia. Because fascia is an active layer of connective tissue that wraps every muscle and organ, this web of connective tissue becomes flooded with inflammatory waste products that are trapped by the lack of fluid motion. Dehydration makes delayed onset muscle soreness worse, especially in hot conditions, and nobody wants that!
Just drinking water is not enough to hydrate your body, though. And it definitely doesn’t mean that the water you drink is getting to where it needs to: into your fascia and connective tissues. Check our blog, Hydration and Connective Tissue - Why Water Isn’t Enough For Optimal Hydration, for a deep dive into what you can do to make your water work for you.
How Does Dehydration Affect Connective Tissue?
The link between dehydration and muscle cramps is well known, but hydration for connective tissue function and recovery is rarely discussed. We think that’s unfortunate because the experience that so many people will do anything to avoid pain is directly related to hydration.
The negative effects of dehydration ripple through every layer of your body:
- Tight- Stiff- Unmovable Fascia, commonly felt as pain in the bottom of your feet or restricted muscle activation anywhere in your musculoskeletal system, indicates more friction and less range of motion. You might feel many restrictions due to dehydrated fascia without even realizing that’s what’s causing the issue while sitting, walking, running, or after exercise. Your flexibility can only go so far, as the fascia cannot glide without adequate water.
- Brittle Tendons and Ligaments show up as limited dynamic stability and poor power transfer through the body. The relationship between dehydration and increased risk of injury becomes obvious here.
- Painful Cartilage and Poor Joint Mechanics; for example, pain in the discs of your spine and the cushioning fluid around the cartilage of your knees are responsive to how hydrated you are and how versatile movement you incorporate into your routines.
- Low Bone Mineral Density. Getting to the crux of why hydration is key for connective tissue health, better water distribution through connective tissue systems means more effective nutrient delivery to tissues that don’t receive significant blood flow. Bone is just the same as fascia and other tissues in this regard.
- Dry Skin is driven by dehydration, poor collagen health, or both. Effective hydration is the bedrock foundation for beauty from the inside out. Drinking water is important, yet remember how electrolyte, mineral, vitamin, and protein intake support your skin hydration and elasticity.
It’s clear that staying hydrated is an important, overlooked step in avoiding pain, improving the function of every organ and cell in your body, and fostering recovery in every one of your connective tissues.
The effect of dehydration on each layer of your body helps show why not drinking enough water leads to fatigue. Think of it: When your muscles and tendons aren’t surrounded by hydrated fascia, there will be more friction during every movement you make. Many of the soft tissues don’t receive blood flow, which means that delivering nutrients and removing waste is only possible when there’s enough water in your system. With how important fascia and musculoskeletal health are for moving through life, it begs the question: how could you possibly have energy when your fascia is dehydrated?
What Dehydrates The Body?
Just drinking water isn’t enough to get hydrated, though.
You have to have electrolytes, versatile movement to your exercise routines, hydrating fascia tools for best absorption, and or manual therapies to get that water to the fascia and connective tissues that need it.
What you don’t do can make a big difference, too.
Take energy drinks, for example. A caffeine-powered sugar-fueled “boost” of energy may sound attractive, but you know that a sugar rush leads to an inevitable crash. These “energy” drinks dehydrate your body and rob you of energy.
Why are energy drinks counterproductive?
Caffeine depletes sodium, and you lose water along with it. Now you’re already in a deficit. Then, not only is the high sugar content an insult to your metabolism, but the sugar also pulls water into the gut, away from the fascia and surrounding tissues, leaving you with fluids where you don’t need them.
High blood glucose causes a certain crispiness in your connective tissues, as well. High blood sugar constantly exposes collagen protein to sugar molecules. Over time, individual sugar molecules bind permanently to your collagen tissues, a process called “glycation”. Collagen is essential in every single one of your body systems and tissues, so when it is glycated, it decreases your circulation, strength, the pliability of your tissues, and more. How much sugar you eat is directly related to how you move through life!
As you can see: not reaching for the easy fix does wonders for a sustainable strategy for more energy. Take a look at the Resync Plant-Based Recovery Drink to get a taste of what true energy feels like!
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Helping you lead a healthier life,
-The Resync Team
Barbara Depta & Detrick Snyder, , MPH, RD